Meta-meta-analysis meets with retraction for group that had faked peer review elsewhere

Pancreatic cancer (artist rendering)

Researchers in China have lost a 2015 meta-analysis on pancreatic cancer, one of several retractions for members of the group stemming from a variety of abuses including bogus authorship and fake peer review. 

The meta-analysis, “Correlation between serum levels of high mobility group box-1 protein and pancreatitis: a meta-analysis,” appeared in BioMed Research International, a Hindawi journal. The authors are affiliated with China Medical University in Shenyang and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Here’s the notice

Continue reading Meta-meta-analysis meets with retraction for group that had faked peer review elsewhere

Cancer specialists in Mexico earn third retraction following questions about their data

Cases of cancers seen at the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, according to researcher Agustin Avilés

A group of cancer researchers in Mexico has lost their third paper over concerns about the integrity of their data. 

Neither the new retraction, in the journal Hematology, nor the previous two, cite misconduct as the reason for the removals. However, the statements do refer to lack of reliability of results,  “ambiguities and inconsistencies” in the findings and other serious issues. 

The first author on each paper is Agustin Avilés, whom the Hematology article listed as being with the National Medical Center in Mexico City. 

According to the retraction notice

Continue reading Cancer specialists in Mexico earn third retraction following questions about their data

Stanford calling for retractions of work by deceased star cancer researcher

The Journal of Clinical Investigation has retracted two papers from the lab of one of Stanford University’s most prominent cancer researchers over concerns about the integrity of the data. 

The articles, published in 2012 and 2014, described work on ways of priming the immune system to enhance the activity of drugs to fight cancer. 

The first author on the two articles was Holbrook “Brook” Kohrt, a superstar young faculty member who died in 2016 of complications of hemophilia. Kohrt was the subject of this 2013 profile in the New York Times, which also wrote an obituary of him. 

Continue reading Stanford calling for retractions of work by deceased star cancer researcher

Carlo Croce loses a round in legal bid to be reinstated as dep’t chair

Carlo Croce

Carlo Croce, a professor at The Ohio State University in Columbus who has faced multiple investigations into misconduct allegations, has been denied a temporary restraining order that he sought in order to be reinstated as chair of his department.

Croce was forced to step down from the post last year. Magistrate Jennifer D. Hunt, of the Franklin County civil court, wrote in a January 23 decision that

third parties and the public interest will be harmed if a temporary restraining order is granted and Dr. Croce is reinstated as Chair.

Croce, OSU said Continue reading Carlo Croce loses a round in legal bid to be reinstated as dep’t chair

OSU cancer researcher who has faced misconduct allegations sues to regain lost department chairmanship

Carlo Croce

Carlo Croce, the embattled cancer researcher at The Ohio State University (OSU), is suing the institution to reclaim the department chair he lost late last year for reasons that he says are unclear.

In a filing with the Franklin County civil court, Croce and his attorneys, from the Columbus firm of James E. Arnold and Associates, argue that the university failed to follow its own rules for demoting faculty members last year when it stripped Croce of his position of chair of the Department of Cancer Genetics and Biology. Croce had held the post for more than three consecutive four-year terms, starting in October 2004.

The nut of Croce’s claim centers on the alleged failure of K. Craig Kent, the university’s Dean of the College of Medicine, to consult with the college’s faculty members before demoting him in early November 2018 — a move Croce opposed. Continue reading OSU cancer researcher who has faced misconduct allegations sues to regain lost department chairmanship

Highly cited paper by dep’t chair at Sloan Kettering is corrected — three times

A radiology journal has published an addendum to a 2005 review on cancer imaging techniques, alerting readers to figure duplication.

But that’s not what caught our attention about this case. The addendum, published in January, is the third notice that The British Journal of Radiology (BJR) has issued for the 2005 review by Hedvig Hricak, chair of the Department of Radiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City. The notices, published between 2014 and 2018, all describe duplication.

Why the series of notices, all describing a similar problem? Continue reading Highly cited paper by dep’t chair at Sloan Kettering is corrected — three times

Ethics, authorship concerns sink homeopathy paper by researchers arrested last year

For a host of reasons, a journal has retracted a paper co-authored by a researcher who reportedly once faced charges of practicing medicine without proper qualifications.

According to the retraction notice for “Psorinum Therapy in Treating Stomach, Gall Bladder, Pancreatic, and Liver Cancers: A Prospective Clinical Study,” published Dec. 8, 2010 in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the paper was plagued by:

Continue reading Ethics, authorship concerns sink homeopathy paper by researchers arrested last year

Caught Our Notice: What if you find out a paper relied on expired herbal supplement?

Via Wikimedia

Title: Exploration of inhibitory mechanisms of curcumin in lung cancer metastasis using a miRNA- transcription factor-target gene network

What Caught Our Attention: The researchers were studying how curcumin, a component of the spice turmeric, can inhibit lung cancer metastases. But upon learning that the primary material had been expired at the time of testing (and realizing they were unable to repeat their experiments), the researchers pulled their paper. Expiration dates do have safety factors built in, but attention to such details is imperative in research.  Continue reading Caught Our Notice: What if you find out a paper relied on expired herbal supplement?

Caught Our Notice: When authors go MIA, the article may follow

Via Wikimedia

Title: IRF9 inhibits human acute myeloid leukemia through the SIRT1-p53 signaling pathway

What Caught Our Attention: When authors fail to respond to editors’ requests for information, it isn’t hard to imagine that the submitted manuscript will lose its publishing appeal. In this case, the journal and publisher withdrew the article after “repeated attempts” to contact the authors were unsuccessful.

The notice doesn’t say why the journal needed to get in touch with the authors; of course, some authors may cease correspondence for a variety of reasons, but there is usually some backstory. Since the authors disappeared, the withdrawn article has, as well. Continue reading Caught Our Notice: When authors go MIA, the article may follow

Caught Our Notice: 4th retraction for prominent physicist (with new funding) cites falsification

Via Wikimedia

Title: Improved Cellular Specificity of Plasmonic Nanobubbles versus Nanoparticles in Heterogeneous Cell Systems

What Caught Our Attention: Nanotechnology researcher Dmitri Lapotko, whose work with lasers continues to catch media attention, has earned his fourth retraction.  As with the other three, the latest notice mentions an investigation at Rice University, but provides no specific information other than “data falsification” for images, and no indication as to the offending researcher(s). (In the past, Rice hasn’t even confirmed to us the presence of an investigation.) Only Laptoko and Ekaterina Lukianova-Hleb are common authors to all retractions. Despite these recent setbacks, Lapotko has not fared too badly in research funding.  Continue reading Caught Our Notice: 4th retraction for prominent physicist (with new funding) cites falsification